Tahiti candidates register for French Senate race

1:35 pm on 15 April 2015

The first candidates in French Polynesia for the two vacant seats in the French Senate have officially lodged their applications amid a row within the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

It has re-nominated Iriti Teura and Vincent Dubois who lost their Senate seats after a French court annulled their election last year.

The vice president, Nuihau Laurey, and a senior assembly member, Lana Tetuanui, have also lodged their application for next month's election after they were expelled from the party last week for announcing plans to stand.

The move has exacerbated a split between the party leader, Gaston Flosse, and the president, Edouard Fritch, who is backing Mr Laurey and Mrs Tetuanui.

Flosse, who is barred from political office, has said Mr Fritch will now form his own party, which he has denied it.

The opposition anti-independence Atia Porinetia Party has called on its backers to support Mr Laurey and Mrs Tetuanui.

The opposition pro-independence Union For Democracy is expected to re-select Tauhiti Nena but is yet to name a second candidate.

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Photo: AFP